Book Review: Employer Branding for Dummies

Jan 20, 2017 | Attraction & marketing

ISE Chief Executive, Stephen Isherwood, reviews ‘Employer Branding for Dummies’ by Richard Mosley and Lars Schmidt.

I once heard a marketing director joke that a fellow board member called her the ‘director of colouring-in’. Most successful organisations now realise that the best employees or potential employees are the ones with the power in the market, they realise that employer brand improves business performance.

Towards the end of ‘Employer Branding for Dummies’ is a case study that proves and directly correlates, how investment in the employer value proposition creates greater customer satisfaction and sales.

There is a danger that our industry becomes obsessed with efficiency, efficiency detached from the reality that people interacting with organisations experience; a danger that faster systems, process outsourcing and the desire to measure everything, deters talented people from joining or staying with an organisation. A slick process alone does not create a strong employer brand and a recruitment operation can easily turn into a rejection machine, rather than a talent sourcing team.

“employer brand is very much about the process and the impact it has on candidates and employees”

What this book ably demonstrates is that employer brand is very much about the process and the impact it has on candidates and employees. If the business mantra that ‘our employees are our people’ is to mean anything then the processes and procedures, the technologies we deploy, have to prove it.

Business leaders can be sceptical when presented with marketing led initiatives, particularly if they don’t have a marketing or sales background, and when the forecast outcome is less obvious than a new product or faster production process. When I used to pitch to leadership teams, my focus was always on business performance, best practice came second. Having worked in two partnerships, l learnt quite quickly that when we were asking for a bigger budget, we were asking for money that came out of a Partner’s back pocket. A proposal that is centred on a campaign will only reinforce this perception.

The business has to perform better as a result of investments in employer brand. Will you secure better graduate talent than your competitors at a lower cost? Will employee retention improve? Will more employees with a greater sense of belonging to an organisation produce better results?

“monitoring, evaluating, and maximising impact”

 With chapters on monitoring, evaluating, and maximising impact, this book does not shy away from the crucial importance of business impact and leadership engagement. As it points out, ‘a strong employer brand boosts productivity while reducing costs’.

All this isn’t to say the book is light on other aspects of the marketing mix. The first three chapters extensively cover all you need to know about frameworks, brand positioning and creation with real-life case studies to show how the theories can be put into practice.

Finding, hiring and retaining student talent is a complex operation and our industry could do with more thought leadership on how to do it well. Read Richard and Lars’ book and you will learn not only how to develop an employer brand, but also how to track, measure and, most crucially, demonstrate how it can improve business performance.

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